|Melrose Place character|
|Portrayed by||Marcia Cross|
|First appearance||September 30, 1992
("A Promise Broken")
|Last appearance||April 7, 1997
("The Dead Wives Club")
|Created by||Darren Star|
|Occupation||Doctor of Medicine Psychologist|
Dr. Kimberly Shaw (previously Mancini) is a character from the hit television series Melrose Place. She was portrayed by Emmy-nominated actress Marcia Cross for the first five seasons from 1992 to 1997.
After her stint on Knots Landing, actress Marcia Cross landed the recurring role of Kimberly Shaw on Melrose Place. Only planned as a small part in the beginning, the character of Kimberly came more recognizable once the role was believed to have died in a car accident and shocked viewers with her return. Cross became a fan favorite but refused for the longest time to sign a contract with the show. The producers finally convinced her to go on contract with the start of the fourth season in September 1995. Cross left one and a half year later, when producers refused to give her a pay raise that would bring her near the salary of co-star Heather Locklear. She last appeared in April 1997 with the character being killed off. Only one month later, co-star Laura Leighton left for the same reason as Cross.
Kimberly first appears in the first season as a Resident Doctor at Wilshire Memorial, as a colleague of Michael Mancini; the two characters are only interns at this point. She is considered one of the top new doctors there on the fast track to a bright future. Initially, she helps Michael with whatever problems he has going on, such as marital or personal problems as a doctor. The two become friends, and she accompanies Michael to the Melrose Place Christmas party where she first meets the other residents. Later on, Alison moves out of her apartment, and Billy needs a new roommate. Michael suggests Kimberly and so she goes to look at the apartment. However, noticing Billy and Alison's issues, she decides that she does not want a roommate as it means getting involved in people's day-to-day lives. Kimberly soon notices herself having feelings for Michael and soon learns that he feels the same way. They begin to have an affair. Soon, they are caught out by Alison. Michael's wife, Jane, eventually also finds out and confronts Michael. He denies it but the two are then caught red handed by Jane herself. Michael agrees to stop seeing Kimberly to save his marriage but cannot deny his feelings for her. Kimberly initially also tries to end the affair as she thinks it is morally wrong but she too cannot deny her feelings. Confronted by Jane, Kimberly reveals the affair is not over and so Jane files for divorce.
Kimberly and Michael move in together after she finds a beach house to rent. They are very happy together at first, but Jane's sister, Sydney, soon causes trouble as she makes her intentions for Michael very clear. She eventually seduces a drunken Michael. Michael tells Sydney that it was a mistake but falls prey to her advances once more and is caught by Kimberly. Michael apologizes and begs Kimberly to forgive him. She refuses and tries to go on without him. Eventually, he convinces her to go on a date, during which he proposes marriage. She rejects his proposal initially but changes her mind on the way home. They celebrate with a kiss but a drunken Michael loses control of the car and they suffer a terrible car accident. Kimberly slips into a coma, while a grief-stricken Michael is paralyzed from the waist down. Kimberly's mother, Marion Shaw (Janet Carroll) comes to take Kimberly back to Cleveland, Ohio to be near her family after making it clear that she blames Michael for the whole ordeal and for destroying Kimberly's life. Several weeks later, she informs the Wilshire staff that Kimberly has died. It turns out that Michael had Matt change his blood alcohol level reports after the accident to avoid jail time. Sydney soon discovers this and eventually blackmails Michael into marriage. Weeks later, Michael caves and decides to make the most of his life with Sydney, accepting defeat. While kissing on the beach house balcony, they are obviously being watched. It is soon discovered that Kimberly is watching them. The next night, Michael awakens in the middle of a storm and checks out a noise in the kitchen. He is startled to see Kimberly. She reveals that she was in a coma for months and that her mother lied to the hospital to keep Michael from her. Michael explains his unique situation with Sydney but Kimberly says that she will take care of things. Kimberly appears different upon her return: stronger, angrier and determined. As Michael is no longer under threat of being charged with homicide, he divorces Sydney and plans to marry Kimberly once again. Kimberly soon reveals that she plans to get revenge on him for what he has done to her. In the bathroom one night, she reveals a huge nasty scar underneath a wig she now wears, resulting in awful migraines. Kimberly lets Sydney in on her plan to kill Michael and they plot together on how to achieve this. After one failed attempt, Kimberly steals Jane's car and disguises herself as Jane and runs Michael down.
Michael survives again and suffers amnesia. Jane is arrested but soon cleared and the evidence points to Sydney. Kimberly uses this to her advantage and frames Sydney. Sydney is arrested and charged with attempted murder. Matt begins to suspect Kimberly of the crime and Sydney informs everyone of this but Kimberly is cleared. Michael gets his memory back and realises Kimberly tried to kill him. He gives her an ultimatum: "either love me or kill me but make up your damn mind." She decides she loves him too much and the two begin to live their life as normal again. After a trip to Las Vegas, they elope but Kimberly then learns she is barren as a result of the accident. They try to adopt but the cost and time is too much for Kimberly. After hearing of Jo's issues with her own pregnancy, Kimberly offers her a solution....fake the death of Jo's baby so that she can move to New York and raise the child herself rather than give it up to the Carters as a judge had ordered. Kimberly delivers the baby, then fills out the paperwork to make it appear that Jo's child was stillborn. Jo stays in hospital to go along with the story. Kimberly goes home and attempts to breast-feed the child. When Jo comes to collect her son, Kimberly, nursing the baby, tells her it was stillborn and closes the door. Jo cannot contact the police as she was committing a crime in her attempt to keep her child.
After many attempts to get her child back, Jo finally does so after informing Wilshire's Chief of Staff, Peter Burns (Jack Wagner), of the incident. Peter orders Michael to return the child or he and Kimberly will be fired. While Kimberly is at work on Christmas Day, Michael returns the baby to Jo. An enraged Kimberly tries to drown herself in the ocean but Michael saves her. Kimberly informs the Carters of their grandson's well being in an effort to get pay back at Jo. Kimberly goes back to her plans of legally adopting a child but her obsession with having a baby drives Michael away and he begins a romance with cancer-stricken Amanda. Kimberly's attempts to end this by threatening both Amanda and Michael appear to work but Michael continues to see Amanda. He finds Kimberly in tears at home where she tells him she knows all his faults and she is the only person that will let him be true to himself. All she asks is that he does not leave her. Michael assures Kimberly he never will. The doctors at Wilshire must undergo a psych evaluation, and Kimberly's evaluation reveals that she is a ticking time bomb, with no threshold for dealing with stress.
To prevent this from going public, she has Matt attacked so that she can change her results to be more suitable to her liking. Michael tells Kimberly he wants them to move away from all their problems in Los Angeles and so he sends Kimberly off to San Diego to look at some houses. While she's gone, he keeps Amanda in their home. Kimberly arrives home early to discover this. At the hospital, Kimberly receives a check for $100,000 from the council after Michael filed a claim citing the dangerous roads as the cause for his accident with Kimberly more than a year earlier. She informs Michael that she has received the money and will put it in their joint account. Kimberly is then stunned when presented with divorce papers at work. She confronts Michael and he reveals that he plans to take the money and be with Amanda. Kimberly goes home that night and leaves Michael a suicide note and takes a handful of pills. Michael finds her and dials 911 but soon hangs up as Kimberly's death will work out well for him. However Sydney arrives, forcing Michael to make the call. While there she finds the suicide note and takes it. Kimberly tells Sydney that she will pay Sydney $50,000 to swap some pills to make it look like Michael tried to kill her and find the suicide note. Sydney agrees but Michael then pays her another $50,000 for the suicide note. Michael tells Kimberly he will show it to the medical board unless she leaves the city. Kimberly agrees but informs Sydney that she will pay for her deception. Kimberly attends camp "No More Victims", a popular camp for abused women to find inner and outer strength. Whilst there, she hallucinates Jane, Sydney, Amanda and Jo taunting her for her crimes against them all.
Kimberly realises what she must now do to seek revenge on her enemies. She receives an early graduation after breaking the arm of the sergeant in charge of the camp. She returns to work and Michael goes through with his threat and informs the chief of staff of her suicide note. The chief of staff feels that Michael is doing it for his own pleasure rather than protecting the hospital and he tells them to behave professionally at work. Kimberly informs Amanda that she wants to call a truce and form an alliance against Michael (as Amanda feels Michael has begun harassing her). Amanda agrees and so Kimberly begins terrorizing Amanda, making her think it is Michael. Kimberly goes to the beach house, tears it apart and injures herself and calls the police. It appears to them that Michael has attacked her and he is arrested. Kimberly goes home one night but soon sees the reflection of a demonic man in the mirror. She collapses, telling herself she isn't crazy. Michael is released on bail, put up by Peter. Michael has Sydney follow Kimberly but Sydney believes Kimberly has changed and is not up to any trouble until Sydney finds a collage of photos of herself, Michael, Matt and Amanda with their eyes cut out and blood smeared all over them at Kimberly's motel room. The police can do nothing though. Kimberly asks Peter why he bailed Michael out of jail and he then asks her on a date. They have several dates including one at a hospital function. Kimberly sees the demonic image again and he tells her to destroy her enemies.
Sydney overhears Kimberly say she will kill them all. Kimberly then realises Peter still has feelings for Amanda. This is the final straw for Kimberly, as she loses someone she cares about to Amanda once again. Kimberly decides to blow up Melrose Place with all her enemies inside. Sydney tries to stop her but Kimberly catches her. That night, everyone arrives at Melrose Place apart from Matt. Michael and Sydney manage to knock Kimberly out and attempt to clear the building but Kimberly regains consciousness and tells everyone that "it's not what it looks like....it's worse".
Kimberly presses the detonator and the building explodes. Surprisingly only fashion designer MacKenzie Hart is killed as collateral damage; she had gone to the complex to confront her husband Richard, who was having an affair with Jane. All others sustain injuries. Kimberly is taken to the psychiatric ward of the hospital under tough surveillance. With Peter as her doctor, she remembers nothing of the past week, refusing to believe she could do something so horrible. She manages to escape her room and attempts to jump off the roof of the hospital, saying she has nothing to live for. Peter tells her he cares about her and convinces her to come down. He then tells her she must plead insanity to avoid a life sentence. She refuses but soon agrees to fake an insanity test as with treatment she will likely be released. She fails the insanity test to their dismay. However, at a court hearing, Michael and Sydney arrive and Kimberly sees Henry again, her demonic reflection and he tells her to destroy them once and for all. She lunges at Michael and Sydney but is taken off to her cell. The judge then declares her insane.
Peter initially thinks it is good acting until he realises she really is insane. Kimberly reveals her visions of Henry to Peter and he decides to call Marion Shaw to see if she knows anything. Marion comes to Los Angeles with plans to take Kimberly back to Cleveland once again but soon confesses she knows who Henry is. When Kimberly was 7, her father was away on business. Marion was in the kitchen making a cake for Kimberlys birthday. Henry, their gardener, came in and soon began to rape Marion. Kimberly saw this, picked up a knife and killed Henry. With this breakthrough, Kimberly receives treatment and is soon let out into Peter's custody. She is given a monitoring belt, ensuring she is only at Peter's or the mental institution. She is allowed go to the Melrose Place post-bomb party to apologize to everyone and go into the laundry room, where she planted much of her bombs. Michael and Sydney hire an actor who looks like Henry to torment Kimberly. It works. He follows her around. Peter says she will be re-institutionalized if she continues to claim that Henry is haunting her.
Kimberly soon discovers that "Henry" is real and Michael and Sydney's plan to drive her back to insanity. With this, Kimberly feels she is cured. She tells Peter she wants her monitoring device gone but he has trouble getting it approved. Kimberly breaks her wrist to remove it so she can begin work as radio host. Eventually the device is legally removed and Kimberly moves into Melrose Place. Feeling lonely, Kimberly begins a string of one-night stands. An obsessed radio fan soon harasses Kimberly and kidnaps her but she breaks free and takes him to the police where he is jailed. Kimberly decides to go back to work at Wilshire where she begins work as a psychiatrist. Sydney becomes a patient of hers, where she regularly discusses Michael. Kimberly helps Sydney with her relationship with Michael though he still believes she is insane and wants to kill him. She soon begins flirting with him and eventually Michael softens to her, believing she has changed. They become friends again and hint at getting back together.
She goes to him for an injection one day but he injects her with truth serum to find out a secret of Sydney's. He also asks if she wants to kill him and she says no, she loves him. When fully conscience again, Kimberly tells Michael he has ruined any trust she had restored in him and wants nothing to do with him. Kimberly's kidnapper, Vic, escapes from jail and takes her hostage once more. Michael manages to save her however and her trust in him is restored. Michael then asks her to move back into the beach house with him, confessing his love for her. Kimberly says they are bad for each other but agrees. Kimberly then receives divorce papers as the two never finalized their divorce originally. She sees it as a sign but Michael rips it up, asking her to marry him again. They renew their vows in front of their Melrose Place friends on the beach. Blissfully happy once again, upon their return from their honeymoon, Kimberly has flashbacks of the car accident.
She awakens once day to see a pile of ironing done that she doesn't recall doing. Days later she is at a tupperware party, wearing wholesome clothing and calling herself Betsy. After Kimberly and Michael have sex on the sofa, "Betsy" tosses it onto the beach and sets it alight. Kimberly realizes she has a multiple personality disorder. Afraid to tell Michael for fear he will leave her, Kimberly also has reservations about telling Peter as she doesn't want to go back to the mental institution. She develops another identity, Rita. As things get out of control, Kimberly confides her secret to Peter. He agrees to help her but before he can, "Betsy" takes over and kidnaps Peter. Betsy does not want Peter to destroy her so she takes him to a mental institution out of town that Betsy had recently been put in charge of, an arrangement made up through Kimberly's connections as a doctor. Betsy sees this as pay back for Peter having Kimberly in an institution months earlier. She attempts to lobotomize him. Before she can, Amanda and Michael arrive looking for Peter and Kimberly. Betsy has them locked up with Peter, revealing they will all have lobotomies. Michael tries to talk to Kimberly, telling her they have gone through too much to be together and that he loves her.
Kimberly manages to break through Betsy with this, but an orderly believes Michael has brainwashed Betsy. He struggles with Michael and Kimberly intervenes, resulting in her tumbling over the railing, unconscious. At Wilshire, she is in a coma and flatlines.
She stabilizes but is still in a coma. Peter is accused of murder. Kimberly is his only alibi as she was with him the night of the murder, when she told him of her mental issues. Kimberly comes to but is unable to recall her dinner with Peter. Amanda threatens to kill her if she doesn't come through for Peter. Kimberly runs away because she is afraid she can't help Peter. She returns and goes to court and says she does not remember her dinner with Peter but she does remember a waiter there who can vouch for Peter. Peter is cleared. Kimberly faces the medical board based on her/Betsy running the mental institution. Kimberly states it is obvious she is unfit to practice medicine and decides it is best she gives up her medical license. Kimberly then goes to work for Peter and Michael as their receptionist till they find a replacement. Kimberly tells Michael she has gone off sex and suggests other ways for them to be intimate.
Michael is disappointed but goes along with this for Kimberly. As the weeks pass, he becomes frustrated and meets a beautiful woman, Megan, on the beach. She offers him no-strings-attached sex and he goes to her home but then declines as he loves Kimberly too much. Eventually he can't resist though.
Kimberly learns from her doctor that she has a brain tumor and is given three months to live. She decides not to tell Michael as he could not bear to hear the news and she fears he could not live without her. Soon enough, it is revealed that Kimberly and Megan are friends. Kimberly tells Megan she is dying and wants her to be with Michael after she dies. Kimberly decides that rather than tell Michael of her tumor, she will drive him away and into Megan's arms so that he will have someone after Kimberly is gone.
Kimberly had originally hired Megan, a prostitute, to service Michael until her sex drive returned. Megan wants to tell Michael but Kimberly refuses. Instead, she "catches" him cheating and states she wants a divorce. They finalize the divorce and Kimberly convinces Megan to marry Michael. Kimberly wants to leave Michael with life insurance money but can't get any as she is so close to death. She decides to commit suicide, disguising it as an accident so she can leave him with accidental death money. She tells Megan this but Megan tries to stop her. In order to do this, Megan tells Michael of Kimberly's tumor and all her plans. They manage to stop Kimberly but Michael is devastated to learn she is dying. Michael tells Peter he feels responsible because of the car accident three years earlier. He refuses to leave Kimberly in her final weeks. Kimberly finally accepts and decides to make the most of her time with Michael.
Megan begins to feel neglected as Michael spends all his time with Kimberly. Kimberly asks Michael for one last night together and they have sex. Megan discovers this and tries to run Kimberly down but she can't. Kimberly learns her tumor is in remission and she believes it is because of Michael's love and care for her. As a result, she tries to break up Michael and Megan to get Michael back for good. She does not tell Michael of her remission, but when he discovers it, he feels betrayed and says he wants nothing to do with her. Kimberly collapses and it is revealed that she has an aneurysm and surgery will likely result in paralysis. Kimberly says she is done fighting and wants to go peacefully. Megan hires a full-time nurse for Kimberly but Michael believes Kimberly is faking it to get him back.
He goes to the beach house and is shocked to see Kimberly barely hanging to life. He calls Marion and tells her to come to Los Angeles at once. Marion once again decides to take Kimberly back to Ohio. Michael says it is too dangerous to move her and accuses Marion of endangering Kimberly's life because she hates him. Marion admits she hates Michael because she feels Michael made Kimberly ill, but she intends to make Kimberly better. Kimberly has Michael and Megan over for a goodbye dinner but a fight between Marion and Michael prevents a goodbye. The next day, Marion is out and so Kimberly asks Megan to come pick her up so she can say goodbye to Michael.
Kimberly says she has always loved Michael and needs to tell him so. However, Marion arrives and tells Megan off for moving Kimberly. Kimberly protests, insisting she must see Michael. However, she collapses and dies in her mother's arms. Megan informs Michael of Kimberly's death. Michael says he does not feel guilty and they must all go one with their lives. That night, he goes to the train station and finds Marion having Kimberly's coffin loaded onto the train. He tells her he cared very deeply for Kimberly and never meant to hurt her. She gives Michael a moment alone. The coffin is opened and Michael says goodbye, telling Kimberly he has always loved her and will never forget her. He kisses her. The train takes off and Michael breaks out in tears, the love of his life now gone forever.
After Kimberly's death, Michael and Megan discover Kimberly left the beach house to them. Megan feels uncomfortable moving into the house Michael and Kimberly shared, but he convinces her to. Megan has a dream in which she sees Kimberly. Kimberly tells Megan she must be careful that Michael does not let his ambition destroy her like it has all his other wives. She gives Megan advice on what would make Michael happy and then reveals there is a possibility she will be Megan's guardian angel. With that, Kimberly is never seen again.
Several months after her death, Brett "Coop" Cooper visits Kimberly's grave, stating he will get revenge on Michael for what he did to Kimberly. Coop begins work at Wilshire. It is soon revealed that years ago, while Kimberly was in a coma in Ohio and while Michael thought she was dead, Coop fell in love with Kimberly. When she awoke, the two formed a romance until Kimberly returned to Los Angeles to get revenge on Michael. Coop considers Kimberly the love of his life. Marion soon follows Coop to Los Angeles to help get revenge on Michael. Unaware of any of this at this stage, Michael finds Kimberly's lab-coat in place of his own, Kimberly's wedding dress arrives at his door, and he finds her storage room has been emptied with nothing but a photo of Michael and Kimberly, smashed on the ground. Michael then sees a woman's shadow at the beach house and she tries to shoot him. Michael is convinced Kimberly is still alive. Though Megan scoffs at this, Michael reminds Megan that Kimberly has done it before. It is soon revealed that Marion is responsible for all this. Michael tells her he is sorry for all the harm he caused Kimberly but that he truly did love her. She goes back home to seek mental help. Months later, Coop still blames Michael for Kimberly's death and leaves Los Angeles.
In the final episode of the series, in the final scene, Peter and Amanda discuss having children. Peter says they will have a Billy and an Alison, a Sydney, etc. Amanda says "Just promise me there will be no Kimberlys." Peter promises.